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Belarus diverts Ryanair plane to arrest dissident journalist; secret police present on flight, says airline CEO-World News , Happy Easterday

Belarus diverts Ryanair aircraft to arrest dissident journalist; secret police current on flight, says airline CEO-World Information , Joyful Easterday

Roman Protasevich was held on Sunday after a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius was intercepted by a Belarusian fighter jet and diverted to the capital of Minsk, State TV reported

A Belarusian canine handler checks luggages off a Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS (flight quantity FR4978) parked on Minsk Worldwide Airport’s apron in Minsk, on Could 23, 2021. AFP

Dublin: Belarus secret police are believed to have been current when a dissident journalist was detained when his aircraft was diverted to Minsk, the top of the Irish airline stated on Monday.

Roman Protasevich was held on Sunday after a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius was intercepted by a Belarusian fighter jet and diverted to the capital of Minsk, state TV reported.

“It seems the intent of the authorities was to take away a journalist and his travelling companion,” Ryanair chief govt Michael O’Leary informed Eire’s Newstalk radio.

“We imagine there have been some (Belarusian safety company) KGB brokers offloaded on the airport as properly.”

Dublin-headquartered Ryanair is famend for ultra-low-cost, short-haul flights throughout the continental bloc.

Favoured by finances holidaymakers, the service is an unlikely participant in a high-stakes diplomatic disaster.

“I feel it is the primary time it is occurred to a European airline,” O’Leary stated.

“It was a state-sponsored hijacking, it was state-sponsored piracy.”

The Irish authorities additionally blamed Belarus for the diversion and referred to as for a tricky response from Brussels.

“We can’t enable this incident to move on the premise of warnings or sturdy press releases,” Irish Overseas Minister Simon Coveney informed state broadcaster RTE.

“I feel there needs to be actual edge to the sanctions which might be utilized on the again of this.”

EU leaders are to satisfy in a while Monday and are anticipated to toughen sanctions towards the japanese European state.

“It was an Irish airline, a aircraft that was registered in Poland, filled with EU nationals, travelling between two EU capitals,” Coveney stated.

“This will solely be described as aviation piracy,” he added.

“I feel the EU has to present a really clear response to it in any other case we’re giving all of the flawed indicators.”

“We demand an instantaneous worldwide investigation,” exiled Belarus opposition chief Svetlana Tikhanovskaya informed RTE.

“The escalation of violence in Belarus is the results of impunity, so we’ve to place rather more strain on the regime.”

Protasevich’s pal, Franak Viacorka in the meantime informed BBC radio in London there was “no risk of coincidence… no risk that this aircraft was moved to Minsk due to different causes”.

Viacorka stated he was in contact along with his pal earlier than he left Athens and stated Protasevich was involved that he was being adopted within the airport.

“I can not think about what’s occurring to him proper now,” he added.

“His girlfriend was arrested with him. She’s a Russian citizen. They each have been taken on the identical flight… They are going to be taking revenge, they are going to be punishing them each.”

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Updated: May 24, 2021 — 1:27 pm

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